US defense industry over-reliant on rare earth from China

Rare earth elements from China are being used to build weapons systems sold to the US Department of Defense, according to American geologist Victoria Bruce in an article written for Truthout, a nonprofit news organization based in the United States.

According to Bruce, participants at the meeting were outraged to discover that various top US weapon systems including Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter, Raytheon’s ground-to-air missile system, Boeing’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk, and General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator would not work at all without China-sourced rare earth materials. After learning this fact, a number of the participants promised to take action.

Bruce said that a bill titled the National Rare Earth Act of 2014 co-sponsored by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) is already on the table. The act will bring mining and processing of rare earth materials back to the United States in a cooperative with the European Union, Japan, Australia and Canada. It does not essentially cut US dependency to China, but rather builds new relationships with economic allies, according to the geologist.

Full article: US defense industry over-reliant on rare earth from China (Want China Times)

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